The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog has a thing for Downtown Calling, a documentary about the rise of New York’s Downtown art scene in the rubble of the broken city:
The film situates our contemporary too-glam, corporate-friendly New York as a direct descendant of those wild days. For once, someone finally makes the case that bombed-out graffiti subway cars were obnoxious to the everyday commuter (thank you, Nelson George). But cleaning up subway cars (which occurred as a way to lure the middle class into the subway system) was a harbinger of New York’s age of prosperity, which in turn shuffled in sky-high rents, bottle clubs and the “Lion King” in Times Square.
The film, which was four years in the making, is still a work in progress, as the producers tinker with clearances and seek distribution, co-producer Ben Velez explained after the screening. Velez and Nicholson are already working on two other documentaries, on New York street gangs and the history of gay activists ACT UP.
‘Downtown Calling’: A Documentary Valentine to New York’s Creative Zenith (Speakeasy/WSJ)